It's been far too long since I posted because there has been so much going on. So much that I don't know where to start.....so I'll start with a promise.
At the end of 2012, my husband and I were beyond thrilled at the thought of owning our first home. We figured out what we could afford and we went for it! The amazement of walking in and out of vacant homes imagining where our furnishings would go, where our children might play, mapping out our commutes to work, it was exhilarating!
We picked out home that had everything we desired, a fireplace, a beautiful spacious kitchen, upstairs laundry (we'd had our share of running loads of laundry up to the kids' rooms) and a downstairs master bedroom. They began the paperwork and we soon found our favorite home would not become our home.
I was devastated. I tried to come up with reasons why I didn't really want the house. It was in a hilly neighborhood and driving in the snow would be impossible. It snows two maybe three days out of the year here. It would require a move closer to the valley and I adored Bellingham. It would require our daughter go to high school with kids that she hadn't been with in elementary and middle. But no matter what I tried to tell myself, I was crushed. I wanted that house.
Perhaps I had grown a bit in spiritual maturity because I wasn't angry with God, I was simply sad. It hurt to know that for whatever reason my Father didn't see fit for me, for us, to have such an incredible, perfect-for-our-family residence.
This may be the point where you realize that inspirational writers don't share these types of stories without some alacazam miracle ensuing. Was there no happy ending, where would be the inspiration after all? I wish I had an open-the-floodgates of heaven miracle to share at this point in this story but I don't.
My husband and I picked up our broken pieces, our poor credit and what determination we had left to really learn about personal finance and credit. We watched Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University sessions in horror. We'd been duped! Not only had we been duped, we had been left out in the open, plump, juicy and oblivious that we were even game.
You see we wanted what everyone else wants. We wanted the American Dream. We wanted love, life and the pursuit of happiness. And we sometimes viewed God's yays and nays as approval and disapproval of us as His children.
My heart is to share with you the truth. We had to work and work hard. We had to say no when we wanted to say yes. We had to pay things we didn't think we rightfully owed. We had to figure it out. There was no secret. We had to retrain and get better jobs. We had to regularly go over where we were in relation to our goals. We had to believe God's timing.
There were times we threw our hands up and stopped caring. And guess what? It was only more dirt to shovel out from under. One thing kept the ambers glowing in the almost smothered fire under us, was that society, the world, the enemy, had an expectation for us to fail. For us to accept the scraps and be content. But John 10:10 says that Christ came to give us life and life abundantly.
You see the Word tells us to choose this day life or death, good or evil and tells us to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:15, 19). Choosing life doesn't mean choosing easy. Choosing life can mean rolling up your sleeves and getting elbow deep in the work of doing the Word. And the reward, as promised, is not from men who see our works in public, but from God who hears the meditations of our hearts.
There is a happy ending here. But the happy ending isn't reduced to we finally purchased a home or that home in particular. The happiest part of the ending is that God never left us. Had we obtained a home in those circumstances we might have lost it already. Had we not been forced to do the work of choosing life abundantly, we wouldn't have the knowledge to pass on to our three children. This strengthened our marriage and our family.
In the moment of devastation, a song came on by Israel Houghton feat. James Fortune called "It's Not Over." I had to pull my car into a parking space downtown and sob to those lyrics. It was okay to release the pain and frustration to God but it wasn't okay to stop there. There was a promise for me, and for you and that promise is Revelation 21:5 ~ Behold I make all things new.
The Kingdom of Heaven isn't a spiritual welfare system. It is not a reward system for whoever goes to church the most. What if, long ago, so long we couldn't truly fathom it, God set things in motion and that is the way things still are today. We know with Christ came the Grace Administration but remember He did not come to overthrow the law but to fulfill it.
This is only part one of my personal All Things New experience. There's so much more and if you're still reading God bless you! God is always good. His timing is perfect. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. (Romans 11:29)
I encourage you that if you know in your knower that God IS who He says He is and that you ARE His child to meditate on the fact that He sent His only son for life and life abundantly. What does that mean to you? Surely it's more than a house or a job. What is it? Are you living it? What stands in the way of you today and you living your abundant life?
While I will share about some material things from time to time, I hope you can hear the freedom in my heart, the peace and grace I'm so grateful for through the tangible examples I give. God loves me and you right now today. He's taking us from glory to glory if only we'll allow Him.